The Presenting Team for Retrouvaille. From left: Fr Arul Raj, Canute and Lourett Magimay, Joseph and Anita Pragasam and Angeline and Francis Chang

By Herald Malaysia

Nov 28 2023

KUALA LUMPUR – Troubled marriages can find a lifeline via the Retrouvaille programme, which offers a renewed sense of hope and healing to couples facing difficulties in their relationships. A live-in weekend was held recently and attended by seven couples from several parishes within the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese, all seeking to mend their marital bonds.

The presenting team, consisting of Fr Arul Raj, Charles and Kavita from India, and local couples Francis and Angeline Chang, Canute and Lourett Magimay, and Joseph and Anita Pragasam, shared their own experiences of disillusionment, pain, and conflict in their marriages. With openness and vividness, they revealed their personal struggles and how they achieved reconciliation and healing.

Retrouvaille, (French) which translates to “Rediscover”, is a programme specifically designed to heal struggling marriages. Introduced in Malaysia in 2017 with the blessings of Archbishop Julian Leow, it has been held annually, with a brief hiatus in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to continued demand from couples facing challenges in their marriages, a partly virtual weekend was organised in 2022, with the recent weekend marking the fifth such event in Kuala Lumpur.

This programme provided participating couples with a fresh perspective on their relationships, offering them new hope and confidence in their ability to rebuild their marriages. Family Life and its wellness have been a key focus for the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, with the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission reaching out to families and married couples through various enrichment programmes, including Retrouvaille.

The Retrouvaille weekend empowers couples to rebuild loving, committed, and faithful relationships while emphasising the importance of communication and forgiveness. It guides couples in discovering new ways to nurture a loving and lasting partnership.

The programme equips struggling couples with valuable tools and techniques for communication and healing, emphasising the sacred promises of the Sacrament of Marriage. It encourages couples who may have grown distant, separated, or divorced to consider mending their broken relationships and turning over a new page in their marriages.

The Retrouvaille weekend takes place in an environment conducive to focusing on each other and enriching their relationships. The confidentiality of attending couples is strictly upheld, and while sharing their difficulties is not required, the presence of a Catholic priest allows some to seek advice and even the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Couples find solace in knowing they are not alone in their struggle.

The weekend serves as the first stage of the programme, with six follow-up sessions to come. These sessions, held every fortnight, will further enrich and explore other areas to deepen the couples’ newfound selves.

The healing of a struggling marriage cannot be achieved in a single weekend, and attending the follow-up sessions is crucial to the Retrouvaille healing process. The seven participating couples from this fifth Retrouvaille weekend have diligently completed the second phase of the programme.

It’s important to note that the Retrouvaille weekend is not a miracle cure but a work in progress, requiring effort from the couples involved. The post-weekend sessions are designed to continue the renewal of marriages begun on the weekend, making them just as critical to the healing process.

For more information on the next Retrouvaille weekend, interested parties may contact the Retrouvaille Malaysia Coordinators, Francis at 016-3330660 and Angeline Chang at 012-2072150 or email retrouvaille@archkl.org. All inquiries are treated with the utmost confidentiality.

Herald Malaysia